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J R Soc Med. 1986 May; 79(5): 277–281.
PMCID: PMC1290312

Efficacy of dantrolene sodium in management of tetanus in children.


The effectiveness of dantrolene sodium in controlling tetanic spasms was evaluated in 21 children (aged 4 days-13 years) with tetanus. These dantrolene-treated patients were compared with an historical control group of 26 children previously treated for tetanus by traditional means at the same institution. The groups were comparable in terms of age, other treatments, and severity of disease. All patients received standard treatments for tetanus, including sedatives, antibiotics, and tetanus-immune globulin. Patients in the dantrolene-treated group also received dantrolene, either intravenously (Dantrium Intravenous) or orally, in divided doses totalling 4-6 mg/kg/day. Mortality was 73% (neonates 83%, non-neonates 50%) in the control group, compared with 33% (neonates 50%, non-neonates 0%) in the dantrolene-treated group. Dantrolene did not cause additional respiratory depression when administered alone or in combination with other drugs routinely used to treat tetanus. In this study, the use of dantrolene with traditional conservative therapy significantly reduced mortality from tetanus.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Rocha H. Efeito mio-relaxante do Dantrolene sódico no tratamento do tétano. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 1975 Jul-Aug;17(4):257–262. [PubMed]
  • PATEL JC, JOAG GG. Grading of tetanus to evaluate prognosis. Indian J Med Sci. 1959 Oct;13:834–840. [PubMed]
  • Smythe PM, Bowie MD, Voss TJ. Treatment of tetanus neonatorum with muscle relaxants and intermittent positive-pressure ventilation. Br Med J. 1974 Feb 9;1(5901):223–226. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Adams JM, Kenny JD, Rudolph AJ. Modern management of tetanus neonatorum. Pediatrics. 1979 Oct;64(4):472–477. [PubMed]

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